The Federal Government has distributed 80 pieces of 3HP irrigation pumps, two rice reapers and two rice threshers to paddy rice farmers in Sokoto state.
It also supported 103,265 dry season farmers with fertiliser at 50 per cent discount within two years of the implementation of the Agricultural Transformation Agenda (ATA) in the state.
Speaking at the recent launch of the sales of subsidised irrigation pumps to dry season farmers in Sokoto, State Director, Agricultural Transformation Agenda, Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, Dr. Jibril Enessy, said the move was part of federal government’s efforts to boost dry season rice production in the state.
He stated that the water pumps and reapers were heavily subsidised by 75 per cent, allowing farmers to pay just 25 per cent of the cost amounting to N20,000 and N258,000 respectively.
“The water pumps were procured at the cost of N80,000 each and will be sold to dry season farmer at the cost of N20,000,” he said.
Enessy disclosed that in the last two years, the federal government supported dry season farmers with 545,747 bags of NPK, 460,298 bags of Urea, 12,654 bags of Crystalliser, 76,106kg of Agrolyzer at 50 per cent subsidy, while 4,745 metric tonnes of high quality paddy rice seeds were given free to them.
He emphasised that this was a demonstration of the commitment of the federal government to produce rice above the nation’s requirement by 2015, thereby generating employment for the youths and tackling poverty.
In a remark, the state Commissioner of Agriculture, Arzika Tureta, commended the federal government for the initiative, saying it would go a long way in boosting dry season farming in the state.
Also speaking, State Chairman of the All Farmers Association of Nigeria (AFAN), Alhaji Murtala Gagadu, said the distribution of the farm inputs was apt, especially now that farmers were in dire need of it to enhance food production.
He called on farmers in the state to make judicious utilisation of the farm inputs to improve their agricultural activities.